Sedimentation rate (ESR) is a blood test that measures how quickly red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube in a specified period of time. The test is used to check for inflammation in the body, as red blood cells tend to settle more quickly in the presence of inflammation.
An ESR test may be ordered if a person has symptoms such as pain, swelling, or stiffness in the joints or muscles, which could be due to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or other inflammatory disorders. It may also be ordered to monitor the progress of a known inflammatory condition or to check for infections or certain types of cancer.
Although ESR is a non-specific test and cannot diagnose a specific condition, it can be useful in conjunction with other tests and clinical evaluations to help diagnose and monitor various conditions.
In summary, an ESR test can help detect inflammation in the body and may be useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of various conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, infections, and certain types of cancer.